What’s the best way to scan my old photos? [ASK MR. NOOBIE]

QUESTION: I have a large box of old photographs to scan and get onto some type of USB jump drive. What is the best method to scan them to achieve the job as rapidly as possible, keeping as great resolution as possible, and being able to manipulate the photos later to post, print, etc? There is a product called Neat Receipts, a scanner. Would that do it rapidly and well? – Barbara P., Edinburgh, Indiana

ScanMyPhotos.com Photo ScanningANSWER: I’m going to get straight to the point with my answer, Barbara. If you have a large amount of photographs, it’s probably not worth your time and the cost of the equipment you’d have to buy (like the Neat Receipts scanner you mentioned) to do it yourself.

It’s far easier to use an Internet service to do the work for you. A good place to start would be ScanMyPhotos.com. I say this with confidence because late last year, I interviewed Mitch Goldstone, President and CEO of the company, for my Tech Talk show (see link below) and discovered how easy it is to get the job done.

SEE ALSO: Take control of your finances before they take control of you [TECH TALK]

You literally can send these guys an entire box of your photos and they will scan every one of your photos using professional high-grade scanners. When they’re done they ship all of your photos back to you along with a DVD containing digital copies of everyone of your photos. You don’t have to lift a finger except to ship the original box of photos box to them.

They even have a coupon offer to get you started. Just click through to their site using the link below to receive the coupon.

Claim your ScanMyPhotos.com coupon

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  1. penemuel

    If you already have or have access to a scanner, instead of sending photos away what’s the best image file type and resolution to use for scanning photos. I know there’s a difference in compression for various file types, and 72 px per inch is good resolution for web use only, but for printing it should be more like 300 px per inch.

    Other than that, I’m not sure what the various settings do…

    • Patric Welch

      I’m not a graphics designer (who would know the answer better than me) but I do believe you want 300 DPI. And obviously if you want the best resolution, you would choose no compression at all. But that may create some gigantic file sizes which may lead you back to using a compressed format like .jpg.

  2. Kima

    I also want to do this with my photos, but am very hesitant about my irreplacable photos leaving my possession. Just because a shipping company offers insurance doesn’t mean they will come back in the same shape as they left if they come back at all. Money doesn’t replace memories. Are there any options for doing it yourself at home?

    • Patric Welch

      Kima, funny you should mention that. When I interviewed the owner of this company I asked him about the risk of losing your photos. He responded that to date they had not lost or had a problem with a single shipment.

      Of course there are no 100% guarantees so if you want to do it yourself, you will just need some type of flatbed scanner (my preference) and a LOT of time.